The ambitious climb toward the setting of the Third Reich back in the 1930s had the then Nazi regime toiling over their skewed idea of a perfect state – social and economic. As ridiculous as it sounds, one among Hitler’s ambitions saw him aspiring to become a Nazi hotelier. A project that met its conclusion but never saw function or fruit.
The luxurious Nazi resort on the island of Rügen remains just like their hope for a perfect state, an empty skeleton.
Named, the Prora Hotel, the Nazi regime’s 10,000 bedroom hotel project was built on the banks of the Baltic Sea.
Built between 1936 and 1939, the Prora was a complex of 8 buildings spread across 4.5 kms along the bay between the Sassnitz and Binz regions, known as the Prorer Wiek. The hotel complex was built as part of the Nazi regime’s “Strength through Joy” (“Kraft durch Freude,” KdF) programme.
The Nazi’s had long-term plans for four such hotel projects.
These would all include cinemas, festival halls, swimming pools and a jetty where ‘Strength through Joy’ cruise ships would dock. Prora was the most ambitious of them all, with 20,000 beds in rooms that were sea-facing – all of them. Each room was to have two beds, a wardrobe and a sink, with communal toilets, showers and ballrooms on each floor.
But the Nazi’s never got to hand out a room to even a single guest.
In the 70 years since its conception and creation, the Prora never functioned with the purpose that it was built for. In fact, after the war broke out in 1939 the remaining construction of the Prora had to be stalled since Hitler decided to redirect the construction crews toward building the V-Weapons plant at Peenemünde.
Today, the Prora stands as a desolate ghost complex.
Toward the end of the Second World War parts of the complex were occupied by the East German army as a military outpost, while parts were occupied by female auxiliary personnel for the Luftwaffe. But today the complex is mostly deserted and dilapidated, with graffiti sprayed across its walls.
Attempts at reselling the complex as a whole failed, but bits of it have been refurbished by companies.
Between 2004 and 2011, parts and buildings of the complex have been separately sold to individual investors and organizations. In 2011, one block was converted into a 400-bed youth hostel, while the present plan now is to turn Prora into a modern holiday resort with 300 beds that includes tennis courts and swimming pool and a small shopping centre.
While parts and buildings of the complex are continually attracting the attention of investors, most of it remains desolate.
Perhaps, because of the legacy that the complex signifies. Regardless, the Prora was definitely one of the most ambitious resort plan that any sociopathic tyrant, in charge of a state, came up with. We just hope we can remember this place for something better in the future.